Beauty

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“Your eyes will see the king in his beauty;

they will behold a land that stretches far away.

Your mind will muse on the terror:

“Where is the one who counted?

Where is the one who weighed the tribute?

Where is the one who counted the towers?”

No longer will you see the insolent people,

the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,

stammering in a language that you cannot understand.

Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals!

Your eyes will see Jerusalem,

a quiet habitation, an immovable tent,

whose stakes will never be pulled up,

and none of whose ropes will be broken.

But there the Lord in majesty will be for us

a place of broad rivers and streams,

where no galley with oars can go,

nor stately ship can pass.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our ruler,

the Lord is our king; he will save us.” Isaiah 33.17-22 (NRSV)

Closely related to Christ’s gentleness is His beauty. Although, it is not popular in many cultures to call a man (or a boy) beautiful, God has, in Jesus Christ, everything that we would consider beauty.

Beauty may be subjective, or “in the eye of the beholder”, but it cannot be beautiful if it does not capture our attention. True beauty is that which draws us out of ourselves. The greatest kinds of beauty draw us out of ourselves and transform us into something beautiful ourselves.

This is Who God is. He is that greatest, true beauty. He speaks, and the whole world listens. The winds and the waves obey and lift Him up. The angels of heaven celebrate His birth alongside poor shepherds and pagan leaders. Those who followed, not even knowing what they would expect to find had their lives transformed right before them. Simeon and Anna in the temple waited their whole lives just to meet the newborn messiah. Jesus does not disappoint when we come to Him, just as He is, and just as we are.

But beauty draws the possibility of envy and jealousy as well. When we see the light we see ourselves more clearly and sometimes we don’t like what we see. We resist being drawn out of ourselves and retreat into the darkness to plan ways of wounding the beauty before us. It is sinful nature that invites us to fear what we cannot understand and hate what we cannot have.

Yet, despite our best (or worst) efforts, the beauty of God is not broken. The ugliness of the cross on which our Savior hung only made the majesty of the manger more real. The attempts to put out the light, surrounding it with darkness only made it shine brighter.

So to, the light of Christ, the true gift of Christmas, shines brightest in you and I when we face the darkness around us instead of flee from it. Do you want to be beautiful? Let Christ shine through you. Nothing else in this world can compare. You cannot dress, cover, color, or work your way to greater beauty than by simply letting the light of Christ shine in you. The Creator of beauty Himself made you just for that purpose.

  • Where do you see the beauty of God?
  • What do you see in your life that is not beautiful?
  • How can you bring the beauty of God to those places that need His light and love?

Bring your peace into our violence

Bid our hungry souls be filled

Word now breaking heaven’s silence

Welcome to our world

Friday December 23, 2016

All Hallows Eve

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I found my last bed

in the place of the first

lesser my heartbeat

greater my thirst

only my pain can realize

        the silent fear

        that lingers here

among a dozen wetted eyes

and hearts doubled over

to see yellow skin

my last fleshly covering

a sad soul within

whose mate in tears resides beside

        my rock and love

        my precious dove

in whom I hope my fate abides

yet she refers me

toward other things

with halos of light

and feathery wings

but I cannot see the light from here

        with eyes gone grey

        fading away

and filled with cold and bitter tears

for fear and regret

all these chains that I’ve earned

in those toiling days

whose dreams I burned

with tunnel vision and selfish pride

        my fate I chose

        the thorny rose

whose beauty at last has bled me dry

leaving naught but a shell

that cannot receive

a blessing that’s blocked

by anger and grief

but I may have one final gift

        my heart to give

        to one who lives

long after this soul passes through the rift

may he love her with care

for better, for worse

and learn from my death

lest he fall to the curse

that still lingers here within the air

        with brutal eyes

        on new love lies

and fixes them with unmerciful stare

so my final act

will not be a cry

for mercy or peace

I simply will die

an example to a foolish world

        to which I belong

        a son of its song

        its promises lies

        when everyone dies

but lives like their lives cannot be unfurled

so breathe like it matters

live without regret

and love while you live

and never forget.

Morning Breath

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breathe with me just once more

in lifting gasps of wonder

from different vantage

underbent

on silver strands

of sunlight

 

singing through the morning air

alive at once again

my soul calls out

in heartfelt hymn

an ode to

anonymity

 

lost in all this beauteous world

a silent saffron dancer

who paints the days

unspent in steps

and bounds through

endlessly

 

for all of time is held right here

at hand upon our fingers

for tunes that sold

our heritage

and sing in

timeless breath

 

 


 

First Frost

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Supple droplets coalesce

in morning mist, whose cool caress

embraces all in loneliness,

sinking into shallow ground.

Follows then a breath of air,

whose northern accent chills the fair

unfinished droplets, held with care

there upon my glass found.

Shining into crystal likeness,

bright and white and round –

they harden without sound.

Beaded strings of peasant pearls

twined about in crescent curls,

crawling up my window, whorls

unbroken in a line.

There beset with misting sweat

they bind together, tight and yet

their seamless sheen and coverlet

grows gently as a vine.

Silently, with silver strength,

they reflect the moonshine –

until the night’s resign.

Morning brings a glassy sight

a world engulfed in frost-fire light

and painted crystalline and white

in heavenly decor.

The dusted streets stand glistening

while festive boughs are listening

to birdsong southbound christening

the mountain to the shore.

The fragrance of festivity

wafts in and out my door –

til spring returns once more.

Remember

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facing the wilderness

waves underfoot

calling out beauty

whose name is remember

from the sea

and starlight

shining in darkness

 

here there are great giants

in these hills

and shadows that roam in the flesh

but greater still

are the fruits of faith

 

to which avails

the fisherman

who steps in

with both feet planted

upon the rock

unseen beneath

the trembling water

Beauty (from Blackbirds)

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9/18/05 and 05/30/07

How terrible to behold true Beauty, whose undaunted presence stirs such passion and life from deep inside the very being while all else and everything fade away into a despairing void that must have… it never remains satisfied with a mere glance or word …or touch, rather within each moment of its presence the hunger intensifies until all the world is sold in one last and foolish attempt to take that which, like the wind itself, cannot be held… cannot be caught – for no sooner has it been grasped, but then it is gone, never again to return. This is the curse of man: that he might tame the land, tame the beasts, stand against nature and tame the immortal gods… and even, at last, tame himself; but even as he sells all he might ever possess – he will never tame Beauty.

(posted in response to a comment made by Marc and some recent discussions on who got it worse Adam or Eve)

The Price of Holding Beauty

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a tree is a tree is a tree

even bound around with silver sheen

glassy crowns that pull them down

low bows an homage

an image to honor

a harsher master whose radiance stills

the hustling frenzy when life endures

idyllic hysteria with blindness to boot

set down to smooth sailing

we grab for the railing

and on we go wailing…

“Oh the rapturous glamour of nature encased

how it burns off our ears and the skin of our face.”

the crystal firs surrounding her

are whistling themes through colored rays

that croon like bells and bleed out knells

the gathering scatters

their flattery patents

along tabula rasa and a handful of flaws

like impotent seedlings with no protégé

nor future thereafter save swift dissolution

cathartic dispersal

this groaning rehearsal

of cold penitential

Ice Covered World by mamomof5.